By the time yesterday was finished, so pretty much was I.
Yesterday was my day to help in the church nursery. I help with the 2-3 year old kids. I love this age group as they can be so much fun most of the time. Ever so often one may be having a rough day. Those days when they need every color of the play dough or that certain toy. Most times though, rough moments can be turned around and fun be enjoyed by all. And we did have a good time.
After church I hurried home, I had to get ready to go to my niece’s wedding, a two hour drive away. Me, my sister in law, her oldest daughter, and my great niece were all riding up together. I was getting to drive. I may or may not have mentioned that I really don’t like driving places I haven’t been before, but I figured this time if I got lost, I’d have company.
The wedding was at four, but I still left an hour before we had to just in case. The route that I had chosen was one road almost all the way up, then it went through a tourist, college town. Then it went by another tourist spot, then along the blue ridge parkway. At one point we were crossing a bridge that had me verbally expressing my “I’m not looking over there, nope, not looking” until we finally reached the other side. At one point we passed a roadside shop that had all manner of temptations, but one sign announced they had apple butter. My company was not happy with me that I didn’t stop. We had time, but we were still far enough away that any of the dreaded possibilities could happen. When my niece’s phone let us know we were nine minutes away, we came upon another smaller stand with apple butter, so this time I stopped. They went inside, I waited in the car. I love apple butter, but I didn’t want to risk giving in to any of the many temptations that were calling to me.
Once we left there, the troubles began. I can’t help but believe my niece’s phone is very southern. It waited until we passed the road I should have turned on to start telling me to “drive to route” or some such. How many times have you been going someone, pass your turn and your passenger after you have gone by ask, ‘where are you going?” That was this phone. Not once, but three times this thing let me pass a turn for it to suddenly demand I drive to route. Return to route or what ever. On narrow mountain roads with very, very few places to turn around even my small car.
As we made our way up, up.. up the road to the venue I was very glad it is summer and not during a time when we would have to worry over anything freezing on that roadway. One thing’s for sure, it would be a quick trip. The gentleman waiting to direct our parking told me I could drive on up, let my passengers out then return to park. I smiled and told him thank you, but if I have to walk, so do that. My family laughed, he looked appalled. I had already seen that it wasn’t that far, none of us were wearing high heels and my parking location was right beside the stairway going up. We were fine. Which was a good thing, I had bought a new dress for the wedding, but couldn’t find any shoes. The ones I had worn were old, but never worn before. They were not comfortable. I had worn my sneakers to drive but had to change into those dress shoes for the wedding.
We got to the entrance and signed the register. Inside we spoke with several people, one of which was my ready for this to be over with brother. Not in a bad way, there had just been so much preparation going into this he was exhausted. About fifteen minutes before the start time we made our way out to where the seats were set up and ended up sitting with other family members.
The wedding itself was lovely. The color schemes my niece had decided on was absolutely perfect. Everyone handled their parts wonderfully, even down to the very youngest of the flower girl and ring bearer. My niece had chosen the prefect dress for her. It was elegant, but not overly so. This dress was her, it fit her personality with no pretense. The way she and her new groom looked at each other during and after the service showed love in its most genuine form.
After the ceremony finished, we made our way to the back of the venue to wait while photos were taken. Guests gathered in groups, some chatting while enjoying a drink. Some finding a spot in the shade, some enjoying the mountain views. After the photos were taken, we moved inside. The bridal party entered, then the new Mr and Mrs. They had their first dance.
We stayed long enough to eat, to see the father daughter dance, the mother and son dance, the daughter and mother dance. We helped salute the couple with toasts and enjoy a nice meal. But I was watching the time. I don’t like driving at night. I had to get us off that mountain before it got dark. My great niece was not happy with me but understood, even unhappily, she wasn’t going to win this one.
My niece’s phone took us back a different route. One that was easier and a bit quicker. Even after I got behind someone towing an RV and even after I pulled over several times to let people in a bigger hurry go by us. I not only got us off the mountain..even though I wish I had pulled over at some point and took a photo of that sunset..I got us two thirds of the way home before it began to get really dark. I dropped everyone off at home, making sure to leave my headlights on bright to help light the way for my sister in law to see up her steps, then headed home. We all live on the same dirt road so I didn’t have far to go.
I got out of the car and went to fetch the piece of cake I had brought home for mom when I heard a noise. I turned to see my son standing right behind me. Yes, I screamed. Yes, he laughed. He had not turned on any outside lights for me so he helped me get inside. He asked if I had fun. He didn’t say anything, but I think somewhere lurking in his thoughts were, “I knew you could do it”.
But I had company. I had company for the drive up and back. I had company for the ceremony and the reception. Its different when someone is with you. It takes a certain kind of strength of will and determination to do things alone. I’m still working on that. My son, he doesn’t care. If he wants to go, he goes. I want that, and I believe eventually, I’ll be there as well.